But I don’t have time to plan! | Local company
My wise dad sat me on his lap when I was a young pup and gave me incredibly deep advice that I finally understood many years later. Dad told me to set aside the first 15 minutes of each day to plan four areas of my life. He said the benefit of this daily habit would not only maximize the value of the rest of the day, but also the value of the rest of my life. Since I can’t give you my father, let me give you his extremely sage advice. These are the four areas of life he told me to plan for.
Time for me / Time for others
Dad told me not to give priority to the emergency. He said emergencies act on ignored priorities. Set aside time each day to reflect and meditate. Then, focus on finding and exploiting opportunities to add value to the lives of others. According to current divorce statistics, too many couples are not taking enough time to live for their spouses.
Carefully plan your daily activities
This is a four step process. First, make a list of everything that needs to be done today. Then prioritize the list with “A” activities that need to be done, “B” activities that need to be done, and “C” activities that could be done. Then, sequence the order of each priority and attack them one by one. Dad said to check off completed activities and he promised I would get an endorphin rush every time I checked. Endorphins feel really good, so get plenty of them every day.
Plan your finances
It’s really a big problem. Most Americans, and from my observation almost all kids entering college today, know a lot more about computers than money management. Since parents (mostly) don’t teach their children how to live below their means and save for big purchases and retirement, my curriculum requires all graduates to take a course in personal finance and commercial three credits. The sooner people start planning for retirement, the sooner they can afford to retire. Remember that retirement is an income, not an age.
Plan your life
My dad taught me to dream big, turn dreams into vision by writing them down, read the vision daily, and then stay open to unexpected opportunities. Dad said it’s better to try something big and fail, than to try nothing and succeed.
All of this sage advice applies to businesses as well as individuals. Businesses need to know and focus on how they add value to their customers or they won’t have customers. Time is money for business – plan the day and don’t waste a precious moment. Next, take care of finances and don’t let expenses take precedence over income, otherwise maintenance will become the downfall. Finally, have and live by a business plan.
Don’t think you have time to plan? 15 minutes is only 1% of each day.
Charlie Dexter is Emeritus Professor of Applied Business at UAF Community and Technical College. He can be contacted at [email protected] This column is brought to you as a public service by the UAF Applied Affairs Department.